I grew up in a family that was very musical, learned the blues and everything like that. And I became a little bit frustrated with the simplicity of rock ‘n’ roll and blues. I started listening to a lot of classical music — mainly Bach, Vivaldi. Then one day on TV — I was about 12 or 13 years old — there was a Russian violinist (I can’t remember his name) that was playing solo violin: 24 Caprices for Solo Violin by Nicola Paganini. I completely freaked out, because I knew that’s what I was hearing in my head. I decided I was going to use all of the arpeggios and linear notes and wide vibrato of the violin. I’ve always been a little bit of an extremist, so I decided to go all of the way.
—Yngwie Malmsteen, king of the neoclassical shred guitar, on Weekend Edition